Gargoyles are not grotesque

This is a gargoyle. You can tell it’s a gargoyle because, when it rains, it’s going to spit at you.

Gargoyles are used to get rid of unwanted water.

I’m rather fond of gargoyles and grotesques. Grotesques don’t really serve any practical purpose, they are there mainly as a warning to wrongdoers. They are a threat.

If you want to see either in their majestic glory, head to Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, they are stunning.

This isn’t Notre Dame though (you probably guessed that). This is All Saints Church in the village of Strelley on the outskirts of Nottingham.

On the face of it, it’s a tiny little place, stuck on a road that doesn’t go anywhere because it has been cut off by the M1 and it doesn’t really seem that interesting. Pretty, but not that interesting.

But the village is old, it was mentioned in the Doomsday Book, and – according to the oracle that is Wikipedia, it was also the stop station for one of the oldest railways in the world.

It was called the Wollaton Wagonway and it was completed in 1604. Horse-drawn wagons used to transport coal on wooden rails.

Well, I couldn’t see any evidence of the Wagonway but you can see evidence of the Monks Way.

The stones now form part of the footpath that goes up through the village and past the church.

It is part of an ancient path network that is believed to have once linked Lenton Priory, which was founded just after the Norman Conquest, to other monasteries and religious buildings in the area such as Newstead Abbey.

The very active monks had land and mines in the area and needed a convenient way to travel around.

I like that evidence of the old route remains and has been incorporated into the new.

In more recent years Strelley had an open cast mine. That’s long gone now too but the area is pretty, just up the road from Man’s house and has a nice little pub called The Broadoak.

It was where we spent an hour or so on Saturday afternoon , practicing with the settings on our cameras (the village, not the pub).





  1. Gorgeous post, Dory, lovely pictures, wonderful history and lively words, and gargoyles too – what a creative way to have drain! They were clever those old masons…

    • Thanks Valerie :) They were extremely clever and I enjoy their work even now

  2. next time you are up this way you should check out Halifax Minster (I didn’t know there was one until I found it) that has gargoyles aswell

    • Oooh I’ll add it to the list, thanks Paula. Hope your recovery is going well :)

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